AC At Truck Stops

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Andrey's Comment
member avatar

Last night I parked at Pilot in Carlisle, PA. The only available two-three spots were under a metal frame with hoses. I heard that some time ago drivers could use these hoses to cool or heat their trucks. I would like to hear from those who actually used it in the past - how did it work? And if these hoses are no longer used, why do they keep the frames?

0376527001645374566.jpg

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Anne A. (and sometimes To's Comment
member avatar

Last night I parked at Pilot in Carlisle, PA. The only available two-three spots were under a metal frame with hoses. I heard that some time ago drivers could use these hoses to cool or heat their trucks. I would like to hear from those who actually used it in the past - how did it work? And if these hoses are no longer used, why do they keep the frames?

0376527001645374566.jpg

Momma Anne's got your answers. My (late) brother helped design these. Here's the article:

Trucker Tech ... 2006

Tom actually was OTR for Transport America at the time, and has somewhat of an HVAC and IT background as well; he was a big help to my brother with the project.

~ Anne ~

ps: Sadly, it didn't take off as expected. I'm not sure why, and my brother isn't around to ask. Sorry!

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
BK's Comment
member avatar

Anne, that is awesome! I’ve seen those but never really understood how they work. Are any of them still operating? Did the APU put them out of business?

Andrey, thanks for posting about this!

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

APU:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

BK's Comment
member avatar

Also, I noticed that trucks had to pull in nose first to use the system. So the one you photographed is obviously not in operation.

IDMtnGal 's Comment
member avatar

My first truck when I came back on the road in 2014 had issues with the AC. So my boss paid for me to use those at a couple places. You went into the little building and talk to the clerk there they would get make and model of your truck and then looked up what frame was needed to be put in the passenger window. Then they came out and installed it and hooked up that hose. The one place got some air but it wasn't very cool and the other place it work pretty good. When the boss got his next truck he had an APU in it and that worked a lot better

Laura

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

APU:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

Anne A. (and sometimes To's Comment
member avatar

Anne, that is awesome! I’ve seen those but never really understood how they work. Are any of them still operating? Did the APU put them out of business?

Andrey, thanks for posting about this!

Bruce;

In speaking with Tom, he does believe that the APU's DID put them out of business, eventually. They were cost prohibitive, and billed to the driver, in many cases, and were falling flat ... first, however.

The internet part, being dial up mostly back then, switching over to 'real' internet, wasn't always available and became one of the bigger snags in the project. Drivers would be running in & out of the Pilot (or xyz) hollering that their WiFi wasn't working, and they're paying "%$$" an hour... it just ... failed. Tom's never personally used one. They were either 'all booked up' or .... the t/s didn't have them where he parked.

He says he wishes he tried (on my brother's dime!) but never really had the opportunity, without messing with his OWN clock.

As the article states, they were available in a FEW states; but I'm not sure they ever really expanded beyond that. Tom, having been driving since 2003, says (right now, upon interview, haha!) that he'd seen only about 10% of Truck Stops, having access.

These were mostly in 'Pull Through' spots, as well. He doesn't recall them being 'nose in' at all.

I'm hoping someone (like G'Town...the historian of trucking) else has more to contribute!

As well, Andrey ....... thanks for this topic!!!!!!! BIG TIME!

~ Anne ~

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

APU:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

APU's:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

Anne A. (and sometimes To's Comment
member avatar

My first truck when I came back on the road in 2014 had issues with the AC. So my boss paid for me to use those at a couple places. You went into the little building and talk to the clerk there they would get make and model of your truck and then looked up what frame was needed to be put in the passenger window. Then they came out and installed it and hooked up that hose. The one place got some air but it wasn't very cool and the other place it work pretty good. When the boss got his next truck he had an APU in it and that worked a lot better

Laura

I'm amazed they were still AROUND in 2014 !! I thought they were falling flat by 2010 . . . wow!

Did YOURS have access to TV or WiFi? Did the clerk do all the 'punching in' of the data, or did it come with a little 'keyboard thingy' like the original design, almost like the Mic in a drive in movie????

Another thing, with the air... being just air. Tom said, that later on in the project, they were actually trying to 'recirculate' the cooled (or heated) air, and it became a 'germophobe' issue. (Yes, Toddler Tom IS one, haha!)

Interesting topic! Talk to YOU more about it soon, m'lady!!

Hectic day.....arrgh!

~ Anne ~

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

APU:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

BK's Comment
member avatar

Anne, look at the pictures you linked us to. It shows all the trucks nose in and barriers in front, which would mean they all had to back out whenever they were done.

I did this once at a truck stop. That is nose first. There was only one spot left and It was not a hard back, but I was super tired. I had to do a few backups to get in straight, but it worked. I pulled in nose first, I hit the bunk and was asleep in ten minutes. When I woke up, almost everybody was gone so it was easy to back up and go. Wouldn’t recommend this as a regular practice but I was so new to backing I just did it the easy way. I know, I’m a chicken s##t.

Stevo Reno's Comment
member avatar

I been at that Carlisle PA spot, BUT they wanna charge you $15 to park in those spots. We had parked and I went in to get a coffee n asked. Once they said "Oh its $15 to park in those spots, we moved ! I kinda knew what they were, just seeing em...and figured they were a part of old trucking history haha

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Steppenwolf 's Comment
member avatar

Hey Andrey

CFI has those at the Laredo terminal. Yes they work. Install window bracket, hook up hose open panel inside truck.

Swipe or punch in credit card, get AC, TV internet.

Was a bit expensive for my liking. Never used it again. Also not available at any rest area I prefer to park at.

I've parked in truck stops that charged $15 for the night, CFI reimburse cost only reason I pay to park.

Sorry this idea didn't work out for Annie and Tom's family.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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